A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a minimally invasive procedure to create an artificial channel between the portal vein and the hepatic vein.
Normally, the portal vein carries blood from the intestine and spleen to the liver. This blood then passes through tiny channels surrounding the liver cells. The nutrients and toxins are filtered out by the liver cell. The blood then passes through the hepatic vein to drain into vena cava and heart.
Any blockage in this normal flow pathway results in pressure build up in the portal vein, known as portal hypertension. The commonest cause of the obstruction to the blood flow is due to scarring within the liver, Known as cirrhosis. Portal hypertension causes the diversion of blood around the liver, which creates an enlargement of venous channels in the walls of the food pipe (esophagus), stomach, and abdomen. Increased pressure within these enlarged venous channels, or varices, can cause bleeding. Other common effects of portal hypertension are fluid build-up in the abdomen, known as ascites, or chest, known as pleural effusion.
By creating an artificial channel between portal vein and hepatic vein, TIPS reduces the pressure within the portal system and thereby reduces or alleviates the effect of portal hypertension such as ascites, pleural effusion or variceal bleeding. While this is the aim of the procedure, it is not free from negative effects.The University of Miami Health System interventional radiologists use imaging guidance to perform this innovative procedure.
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Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.
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